MNEs can learn from the foreign investment experiences of other firms when evaluating their own foreign entry strategies. We argue that other firms' experiences reduce investment barriers arising from formal and informal institutional environments in host countries that are dissimilar from an MNE's home country, thereby encouraging new entry. Our empirical analysis of foreign entries by Japanese public manufacturing firms over more than a thirty-year period indicates that the prior experiences of other firms in a host country mitigate the negative effect of formal and informal institutional distance on entry decisions: as other firms' experiences in a host country increase, a firm is less deterred by greater institutional distance from entering the country. We also find that the distance-mitigating effect of other firms' experiences in different industries is less significant when a larger body of same-industry firm experience exists in a country, implying a substitution effect between different types of vicarious experience.

Additional Metadata
Keywords FDI, Location choice, Vicarious experience
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of International Management
Jiang, G. F, Holburn, G.L.F. (Guy L.F.), & Beamish, P.W. (Paul W.). (2014). The impact of vicarious experience on foreign location strategy. Journal of International Management, 20(3), 345–358. doi:10.1016/j.intman.2013.10.005